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Aging and Lifespan

One More on That Buckyball Longevity Paper

I’ve received another e-mail from Prof. Fathi Moussa, lead author of the C60 longevity paper that’s been discussed around here. I’d sent a list of the critiques that had shown up in the comments sections, and here’s the reply:

An erratum with the right figures 3 and 4 will be published soon in Biomaterials. The right lifespan values after the beginning of the treatment are given in the original text without any change. To sum it up, the extensions of lifespans are twenty months and sixteen months with respect to water-treated controls and olive-oil-treated controls, respectively.
Our original objective was not to study lifespan extension but the toxic effects of C60 at reiterated doses. Lifespan extension by C60 is not really surprising, all the more so as it had already been shown by others that some C60-derivatives can prolong lifespans in several experimental models, albeit moderately.
What is really surprising in our results is that C60 acts at very low doses, which means that the effect is very strong, and that this effect lasts for a long time after the end of the administration. A possible explanation is that some C60 precipitated inside the reticulo-endothelial system and then slowly dissolves and diffuses.
Of course we understand that non C60 specialist readers are incredulous about these results, as it could be expected.
We hope now that others will try and confirm our results. If our results are confirmed by others, which we firmly believe, it will be then necessary to try to reproduce these experiments on bigger samples including other species and of course to optimize the dose and the duration of the treatment.

I share that hope that others will try to confirm the results. It’ll be a while, most likely, before we hear about anything in this area, but when something comes up, I’ll blog about it.

7 comments on “One More on That Buckyball Longevity Paper”

  1. Joel says:

    Hi Derek- the formatting on your pull quotes doesn’t work in the RSS feed (I’m using Google Reader to view it). After the first paragraph, the rest of the quote is formatted as normal text (not italicized or indented). Might want to get someone to look at it?
    Off to have my morning coffee/C60…

  2. Octavio says:


  3. Octavio says:


  4. Virgil says:

    As per my comment in the last article…. He is flat out stating an erratum will be published. What does the journal say? Can you confirm with the journal whether or not this is true? If the journal says yes, well that puts the credibility of the publisher on the line (erratum for what is clearly data manipulation with intent to decieve). If the journal says no, Moussa is lying. Kind of important to know either way!
    Regarding intent to deceive, pasting the wrong figure in its entirity is one thing, but pasting it ever so slightly shifted over, and resized, is another thing altogether, if you know what I mean 😉

  5. db says:

    Re: #4, one possible innocent explanation for the publishing with slightly shifted and resized crops of a single image as two slides is that, in assembling the paper, someone grabbed the same image and made two different versions of it at different times. This could be caused by someone wanting a version to place at different locations in the paper and needing slightly modified formatting of text surrounding the image.
    If the author responsible wasn’t keeping good track of all the image file names, it’s possible these two images wouldn’t immediately be seen as the same by the person assembling the paper. It might indicate sloppy file naming conventions rather than malicious intent. Of course this could be a significant problem and may call into question the validity of other images in the paper, if it were caused by a naming problem. In any case the researchers would be well served to do a root cause analysis to avoid future embarrassing incidents of a similar nature.

  6. bacillus says:

    If I’d been running this study, I’d have started the repeat as soon as it was obvious that the rats in the treated groups were outliving the untreated group which became obvious around the 3 year mark.

  7. James Powell says:

    To me, this is the exact way that science is supposed to be conducted. You come up with an idea, design an experiment to see if the idea is valid, and then publish it. I would be more impressed if the publication of this data had included more information on things like the solubility of the Buckyballs in Olive Oil, but it’s not something that I am greatly concerned with as a outsider looking in. (again, my vauge understanding of the process is that you are supposed to be able to reproduce the experiment from the information in the Journal, but, it may take some experimental science to do so). When I read a result which says : we found this happened, and can someone else double check it, I get far more of a warm and comfortable feeling than when I read a press release which states that your life will be extended by 64 years by eating buckyball cereal (ect).

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